Saturday, February 27, 2010

Plan Nine from Outer Space: The Worst Zombie Movie?

Plan 9 from Outer Space
Made even more infamous by Tim Burton's 1994 biopic of director Ed Wood, Plan 9 (1959) is often dubbed one of the worst movies ever made.  Aliens attempting to contact Earth are angered at not getting a response; to show they mean business, they start bringing Earthlings back from the dead.  Foremost among the undead is Swedish wrestler Tor Johnson, made iconic by his performance here; other notable zombies include Vampira (the ur-Elvira) and, briefly, Bela Lugosi (who died before filming was complete).  Look for Ed Wood's wife's chiropractor as Lugosi's unconvincing stand-in, as well as flying saucers on strings and a plethora of other goofs.  Plan 9 is good for a laugh, if nothing else.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I Walked with a Zombie

I Walked with a Zombie / The Body Snatcher
From 1943, this is the second in famed producer Val Lewton's regrettably small body of work with RKO.  Lewton mixes voodoo with a bit of Jane Eyre in the story of Betsy (the doe-eyed Frances Dee), a young nurse who comes to the Caribbean island of St. Sebastian to care for the catatonic wife (Christine Gordon) of a sugar planter (Tom Conway).  In her efforts to cure the woman, Betsy comes across a nest of secrets on the idyllic island.  With well-realized characters, a multifaceted plot, and wonderful lighting effects, I Walked with a Zombie is one of Lewton's best.  And that makes it very good indeed.

Monday, February 15, 2010

New Film Review @ TFTMP

Bio Zombie
My review of the Hong Kong horror-comedy Bio Zombie is out in the new Valentine's Day issue of Tales from the Moonlit Path... Which is now (2011) defunct, unfortunately.